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If you are a mom, you have way more than “a lot” on your plate daily.
Not only do you have to clean, cook, work, bathe and change kids, but also, many of your accomplishments are totally invisible by the end of the day.
You are followed by tiny humans who make sure to undo everything you have fixed up. (box of cheerios on the freshly mopped floor anyone?)
How can you possibly be keeping a clean house?
After becoming a mom of multiple kids, I used to be so frustrated because my house could not stay clean or organized no matter how hard I tried.
And I learned to be okay(ish) with it.
What helps me stay sane are quick cleaning tips that I learned over the years through my own experiences and from others.
Because I know we share the same desire (clean house) and the same culprits (sweet but messy kids), I am bringing my solutions to your problem.
I am sharing 8 quick cleaning tips to simplify your life!
In this post you will learn about:
- best cleaning tools
- how to clean quickly
- how to clean effectively
- how to prevent dirt
8 QUICK CLEANING TIPS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
1. Plan, plan, and plan
Ok, maybe not everybody loves to plan as much as I do, but even if you aren’t a sucker for sticky notes, you will still find value in streamlining your cleaning tasks.
Not having a workable plan is the reason why quick cleaning doesn’t happen for many moms.
In order for us to be able to quickly and effectively clean, we need to be ready to knock things out in small bites.
If you find that your kids are happily playing and you figure you could clean right now, but have absolutely no idea where to start, you will waste prime cleaning time on just getting stuff together.
But if you have a plan, you are ready for action almost immediately.
2 Effective and Quick Cleaning Schedules I Recommend:
- Setting a goal of cleaning for 10-15 minutes, getting done as much as you can during that time.
Say you will pick up everything on the floor downstairs. Whatever you choose to do, when the timer is off, you’re done.
Do this 1-2 times a day and you will see the progress you will have made by the end of the week,
- Designate tasks for specific days.
For example, on Mondays you clean bathrooms, Tuesdays are for dusting, Wednesdays floors, Thursdays kitchen, Fridays bedrooms, Saturdays laundry.
This is just a sample plan, but the point is to figure out what you want to clean and divide it up into 5-6 days of the week and only do them on the designated day.
The beauty of this plan is that if you skipped your Tuesday dusting for some reason, you can just do it next week. The rest will still get done and you have a fairly clean house.
2. Invest In A Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
When we moved into a bigger house with 3 kids and my husband told me about this great cordless vacuum cleaner he heard about, I liked the idea very much.
He bought it and it was super.
When he let me in on how much this gadget costs, I was less than thrilled.
I told him to take it back because I didn’t want to spend that kind of money when I am perfectly capable of using a broom and a dustpan.
Fast forward a few months, add another kid and I was ready for him to bring that vacuum back. I didn’t care about the price anymore.
I knew a few things for sure:
-I have spent more than this vacuum’s price on different vacuum cleaners and mops over the years that didn’t deliver.
-I needed something quick and effective I don’t need to drag out of a closet, put together and go from plug to plug around the entire open floorplan.
-I wanted it to be easy to clean out
-It had to be lightweight so the kids can use it too
Enter the Dyson V6 Animal.
This cordless vacuum cleaner fits the bill. It is everything I looked for and 5 years later, our love is still strong.
I use the Dyson at least twice a day, but I have been strongly encouraging the kids to also make friends with it.
The reason why this cordless vacuum cleaner made it to my quick cleaning tips is that you can quickly and very effectively clean any floor surface. Just a few quick strokes and everything is inside the vacuum.
It sucks up the smallest crumbs and the most annoying pet hair. It’s easy to push around because the head turns and it comes with a few different heads to fit your cleaning needs.
I am not joking when I say that several of our friends and family bought a Dyson Animal because they saw us use it and loved it too.
There are many other great cordless vacuum cleaners out there, but I am recommending what I use and works well for me.
3. Pack A Cleaning Caddy
No matter your house’s size, a cleaning caddy will keep all your necessary cleaning supplies organized and at hand.
I got mine at a local Kroger, but it looks a lot like this one.
No more running around the house trying to chase down sponges, cleaning solutions or Windex.
It may seem like a small detail, but when you’re short on time, the best way to maximize your productivity is to have everything at your fingertips.
As a mom, you know that in 2 seconds your entire life may change. (What was that noise? Why are the kids so quiet?) So 3 minutes of running after supplies is wasting precious time.
What To Put In A Cleaning Caddy:
- Vinyl gloves
- All-purpose cleaner (I use Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day)
- Bathroom cleaner (I use Soft Scrub)
- Toilet cleaner
- Microfiber cloths (I LOVE these!)
- Shower/Soap Scum Eliminator Spray (equal parts of vinegar and Dawn, mixed with some water in a spray bottle, works like magic)
- Paper Towels
- Lysol/Clorox Wipes
I can carry my cleaning caddy from one room to another and use what I need out of it.
Alternatively, you can also stock each bathroom with a basket of basics, like a microfiber cloth, sponge, antibacterial cleaner, etc. and only use them to clean that given bathroom.
This is also a good idea when you have older kids who are capable to help but forget to return things. If they are told to use what’s under their sink, they are not going to mess with your bathroom cleaners!
3. Make Use Of Unusual Opportunities
If you’re busy, waiting for the perfect time to beautifully clean the house is unrealistic.
So one way to effectively clean your house is to make use of opportunities that are not your usual settings for cleaning.
For example, often, while my kids are playing in the tub, I quick clean the sinks and toilets in every room. Given that I have my caddy or specific cleaning products in each bathroom, I don’t have to go looking around for them.
I knock it out in 5 minutes and probably even spray the tub before or after they sit in it.
Think outside of the box, especially during extremely overwhelming seasons of life, when a complex cleaning schedule doesn’t work.
4. Pair Up Tasks
Another way to effectively clean your house is to pair up everyday tasks with weekly, less frequent cleaning tasks.
I usually choose one quick cleaning task to pair up with the basic task.
For example, since I am washing dishes every day, each day I choose one of these tasks to go with the dishwashing: wipe down appliances, clean trashcan, wipe out the microwave, clean fridge, etc.
By the end of the week, I will have gotten most of the kitchen clean and it took me extra 5-15 minute/day.
Consistently doing small tasks adds up, so don’t underestimate that. (I talk about this concept more in my post The Hardest Part Of Motherhood)
5. Clean What Bothers You Most
When you consider what areas of your house are the ones that bother you most, it is easy to see that those are the ones that should be cleaned first and foremost.
When you clean the most troublesome areas first, you will mentally feel relaxed.
- I absolutely hate when my floors are dirty, but vacuuming them helps me feel like the house is clean even when I never get to mopping them.
- Or I like to know that my toilets and kitchen sinks aren’t teeming with bacteria, so I make use of Lysol wipes quite often.
- Another thing that makes me feel like my house is clean is when the beds are made and blinds are open. It instantly makes the room look neat.
- Finally, having everything just picked up from the floor and put in a catch-all basket makes the house look organized without actually having to do it right then.
All of these small steps are quick and effective in giving you a feeling of a clean home.
And sometimes, peace of mind is all you need.
6. Done is Better Than Perfect
This is a saying I hear often from my blogging mentor Scrivs, and it has helped me countless times in building this blog.
The principle is pretty self-explanatory, but let me elaborate.
Striving for perfection is usually an issue for moms like me, who want to get quick cleaning done and instead end up deep cleaning.
In those cases, we start a task and get so caught up in the details that we are only half-way done when interrupted and don’t actually finish it.
And what’s worse than a dirty house? A house you pulled apart before the cleaning is finished.
So focus on done, instead of perfect.
- Wipe down a shelf’s visibly dusty parts instead of every nook and cranny and each individual book you own.
- Quick mop around the dining room table instead of getting caught up mopping the whole house.
- Quick clean the kitchen counters with a good microfiber cloth and all-purpose cleaner instead of rubbing it perfectly shiny with a special countertop cleaner.
You get the idea. Done over perfect.
And remember: don’t clean so your house stays clean. Clean, so dirt doesn’t eat you alive.
How is that for “done over perfect” mentality?
7. Invest In Help
Obviously one of the best quick cleaning tips is to pay somebody to do the job, right? There are phases of life when you can barely handle getting dressed and feeding everybody, let alone keeping a clean house.
Investing in household help is an amazing gift of mental freedom.
Unfortunately, hired help isn’t always affordable or you can’t justify it.
Thankfully there are others ways you can invest in help.
- You can give some of your time and really show your kids how to do certain tasks, making them responsible to complete them weekly. Easier said than done, I know well.
But every single time I took the effort and trained a child to master a certain task, I have not regretted it.
It’s very important to show them how to clean a few times until they are able to do it well with some supervision all the way until they can do it well completely alone.
It takes patience and time (and letting go of your idea of perfect), but in the long run, it will be a win-win situation. You will stress less and your kids will become capable adults.
- Another way to invest in help is buying a machine that can do some of the work for you.
Most of us already own dishwashers and wash machines, and while we forget to appreciate their help and often complain about having to load them, try one week without them and see how much you miss them!
The same thing could be said about dryers or a vacuuming/mopping robot. I have an iRobot Roomba 980 and an iRobot Brava Mop and I like using both.
They are awesome for quick cleaning, when you aren’t shooting for perfect, just “done”. With a robot cleaner, first, you need to pick up the area you’re quick cleaning then just start and forget it.
My final quick cleaning tip is to prevent dirt from entering your house as much as you can help it.
In our house, the rule is, no shoes inside. And while certain individuals “forget” that sometimes, we almost never have gone upstairs with shoes.
This rule alone keeps tons of germs, dust and mud from entering the house, making it much cleaner overall than if we were to wear shoes everywhere.
My friend Sasha at Life’s Carousel recommends leaving all shoes in a mudroom or garage and getting a doormat in order to prevent dirt from entering the house.
Another way to prevent more dirt from spreading out all over your house is to have a designated area for food and drinks and make a rule to keep it that way.
Eating only in the kitchen and the dining room ensures that crumbs and sticky messes aren’t carried into other rooms.
Especially for kids, making a habit of always washing hands after eating is also a great way to prevent doorknobs and walls from becoming filthy.
While it is impossible to keep your house looking like a magazine cover when you’re a busy mom, there’s nothing stopping you from having a clean(ish) house!
Start simplifying your life by implementing these 8 Quick Cleaning Tips and notice the difference!
For more homemaking ideas check out these related posts:
- 19 Realistic Girl Bedroom Ideas
- 21 Stylish Family Command Center Ideas
- 13 Ways To Organize Kids Bedrooms
- A Go-To Guide To The Best Nursery Ideas
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